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Old 11-24-2009, 05:51 PM   #1
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kitchen countertop options


I am thinking of selling my house in the spring. I don't want to get crazy with the kitchen remodel but would like to put in a nice countertop, paint the cabinets, tile the backsplash and put eningeered laminate on the floor.

I've gotten est. from HD for $3300 for granite (plus $700 to remove existing one). I saw on a recent DIY program a countertop of 80% granite and ? was installed and much cheaper. I'd love to go marble look but can't seem to find a substitute.

I'm in Northern VA and have many resources here but don't want to "chase my tail" running here and there.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-25-2009, 06:29 AM   #2
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You say you don't want to go crazy since the house will be sold, then you mention granite, now that's crazy. I would not recommend new granite with old painted cabinets. And the new buyer may not like your choice in granite. Formica comes in about 200 colors/textures, is inexpensive, and if the new owner does not like, they can replace it.

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Old 11-25-2009, 10:13 AM   #3
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And any granite supplier will offer better deals then HD anyway. HD and Lowes caters to the cheap end of the market. Anything special order and it costs more than typical suppliers. But as posted a Laminate update will be a smarter choice.
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Old 11-25-2009, 04:46 PM   #4
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Thanks to you both!
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
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If you really love the look of marble, try Corian's new Private Collection line, especially "Witch Hazel" and "Sandstone"...both look like marble without the drawbacks (including price)
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:39 PM   #6
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As a rule of thumb, any money you spend will be more than what you get back out of the hose. (so if you spend $1000, you will raise the value of the house $1000 minus X).

There are exceptions. These will vary by market. You need to be familiar with the market to know what the exceptions are. So you have to hire a Realtor or an appraiser to avoid waisting money. Unfortunately, many Realtors and appraisers won't really know either.

If I was selling a house with a crappy kitchen, one option I would consider is selling it with a kitchen allowance -- in other words, owner financing of a kitchen upgrade for the new owner. That way people looking at the house will be seeing their dreams, and not yours.

I wouldn't want a granite counter, a tile backsplash, or an engineered floor, so if you did those things you'd eliminate me as a buyer, but if you put in an allowance for the kitchen then I could have what I want (which might cost a lot less than what you're considering).
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:18 AM   #7
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Painting the cabinets can sometimes cost near what replacement would cost with less return. If you are trying to keep costs low and just freshen the kitchen up install a Formica counter top. If someone is viewing the home the thought of potentially throwing away $3000 in counter tops to remodel the kitchen down the road may deter from the sale. If you are going for the kitchen as a selling point (this is not the same as trying to recoup investment) then you should probably remodel the kitchen, replace the cabinets, and upgrade the appliances.

I would spend a little more on flooring and go with engineered wood or solid wood. Solid wood is an investment that is usually recouped and can be a valuable selling factor. Cost wise unless you get into exotic woods it is only slightly more expensive.

DIY programs and design programs are not a good source of material prices. Remember that they do not calculate the value of all materials used or labor. Also many of the products are donated or sold at heavily discounted prices resulting in much lower than actual prices. Home depot and Lowes are middle man outfits. If you want to save money on materials go to the granite shops and buy from the source. You may be amazed at the cost difference. The same holds true for cabinets as well. Often you can get a much higher quality cabinet from a cabinet shop then you can from the box stores at a slight difference in cost.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:39 AM   #8
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First, $700 to remove a countertop is CRAZY!!!! That equates to about $2800/hr!!!!???? But I digress.

But, in line with the others, I just made a Formica countertop with an oak band that looks amazing. I cannot remember the exact color but it looks exactly like granite. You only know it is not when you touch it. With all the materials it was under $200 and took a few hours....approximately 25 sf.

Luckily I was able to get the Formica at a wholesaler for next to nothing.

Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:12 AM   #9
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I am in the middle of getting my home ready for sale too. I priced granet and decided I did not want to spend that much to see someone throw it out and start over. I put in new formica countertops that look like granet and they look awesome--much better then the old blue formica. I also put vessel sinks in both baths to do something different but I shopped around and got a good deal on the sinks and faucets. I was happy to hear y'all suggest the formica for the OP since I was a bit concened that I was going too low cost. It is rare to see granet in the area my home is in so I did not want to over improve and also did not want to put a ton of money in the house as I seriously doubt I will get it back in today's market. The main reason was to increase the speed of sale since I am not living there presently. My countertops were installed 2 days ago and I love them. BTW I removed my own countertops to save the $$ but they were formica and not glued except in the corners. They wee going to charge me $500.00 to demo them and it is a small kitchen 2 baths and a small bar area. I was a lot of work and my son dropped a cultured marble 2 sink vanity on my big toe--LOL but I saved some bucks doing it.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:30 AM   #10
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Hi Bevgo:
I had an estimate of $2000 to install "real" granite. That includes removing the old countertop. I have 42 linear ft. to replace. Do you mind what size kitchen you have and how much you paid?

Thanks.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:47 AM   #11
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Hi Ari001
Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

I noticed you're in Stafford. I live in Fairfax. Small World.

I did find someone to install granite for $2,000 (and includes removal of old countertop). How much cheaper would laminate be?

I've almost completed installing engineered wood floor and it looks marvelous. It costs about $550 for materials and as it blends with my existing hardwood floor, make the space look larger.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:16 PM   #12
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Not sure of the size but the kitchen countertops had a odd angle cut. I also had both baths and my bar done and i cost me 1900.00
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:18 AM   #13
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My projects involve redoing kitchens so I have never had reason to use a system like this. If I were just getting a home ready for sale though? I would sure look into it. Of course I am skeptical and it cannot be the same as solid stone but if it gets the house sold? And as hinted someone will end up redoing the kitchen anyhow I don't know that I would feel totally guilty about it.

http://www.granitetransformations.com/

There are other companies doing the same thing. I just happened to remember the name of the one linked. Definitely stay out of the box stores for countertops.

Last edited by user1007; 01-30-2010 at 07:19 AM. Reason: URL Added
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momof2labs View Post
Hi Ari001
Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

I noticed you're in Stafford. I live in Fairfax. Small World.

I did find someone to install granite for $2,000 (and includes removal of old countertop). How much cheaper would laminate be?

I've almost completed installing engineered wood floor and it looks marvelous. It costs about $550 for materials and as it blends with my existing hardwood floor, make the space look larger.
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner I have had quite a bit going on until old man winter got frisky.

Formica counter tops go from anywhere between $8-$20 a linear foot. Granite goes from anywhere between $35-$120 a square foot. Those are material prices, installation may or may not be included in the price quote you are given depending on the supplier or shop.

Labor for either will very by company but you should expect to pay around $20 a linear foot for a formica top and around $44 a linear foot for granite.

Good luck and post some pics when your done.

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